There’s a phrase that has been ping-ponging around in my mind.
Living in the Spirit.
What does it mean to live in the Spirit of God?
What does that look like in my life, and the lives of those around me?
Who do I know who is living in the Spirit?
This is going to look the same, and different, for each person. I realize same and different are contradictory.
This is my thought. People all look basically the same, right? I mean anatomically. We all have certain common characteristics: 2 eyes, ears, one nose, etc. At first glance it seems we are almost all similarities. If you look closely (and especially when you really get to know someone) there are definite (and easily identified) differences.
All of my children strongly resemble one another, and also us—BUT if you look at them more closely, out of 4 children, we have 3 different eye colors-brown, green & blue.
If you have ever known a set of twins, at first it is very difficult to tell them apart. I believe living the Spirit is like this. It is going to look the same, but also different.
God tells us that you will know whether people are living in the Spirit by the fruit they bear.
Matthew 7:16 reads, by their fruit you will recognize them.
In Galatians Chapter 5 we read, but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control.
So if we are living in the Spirit, there are going to be definite similarities in the way our lives work, and look to those around us. We should all be bearing these fruits of the spirit, but the way these traits are carried out in our own lives are going to look the same, but also different.
For some people, most people, the majority of this is going to take place in their own homes.
The mama with a newborn, nursing every 20 minutes, running on very little sleep; she has so many demands on her time and energy. There are other children still heavily relying on her to meet their physical and emotional needs, all the while gently, but consistently, steering them all toward Christ. This is worthy! This is what living in the Spirit looks like for her.
The one whose life has been gripped with grief, and loss of loved ones too soon, and too many times; yet she smiles through the tears. She clothes herself in the Word. She loves with her whole heart those she has left, and longs for the time she will be reunited with those who have gone ahead. She turns her grief into a testimony of God’s goodness, mercy and love. She uses her life’s hurts to comfort others suffering through the same thing. This is worthy. This is what living in the Spirit looks like for her.
The mama whose children are now taller than her (and mostly grown), they are trying to forge their own life story in this world. She is that reassuring voice that keeps bringing them back to the plan God has for them. She has gone from their authority, to their friend, and adviser. She is still holding hands , that aren’t so small now, but still need held from time to time, just the same as when they were. This is worthy! This is living in the Spirit.
The one whose children have all grown up and moved out, but she doesn’t throw up her hands and call it quits. She is a Titus 2 woman. She is there with meals for that mama with the newborn. She is there to care for other people’s children when they need a bit of help. She is available to serve where she sees she can meet a need. She will remind you that life with young children can be intense and exhausting, but so worth the living. She will help you get your perspective back in order. If you need her, she will come, because she loves the Lord and His people. This is worthy, this is what living in the Spirit looks like for her.
The mom who is stretched so thin already , but spends her nights at her dying grandfather’s bedside. She will sing him hymns, pray with him, for him, and over him. She pleads with him to accept Christ, while there is still time. She smiles even though the tears will not stop flowing. She loves this scared man until his last breath. This is worthy, this is living in the Spirit!
The woman who stands outside the darkest of places, it calls itself a clinic. She stands (with her children), holding signs, and praying for the girls going in. She pleads, in love , with those girls to choose life for their little one. She pleads with them to choose real life for themselves, in Christ! She teaches her children that the church MUST GO, to these dark places. She teaches her children what faith and love looks like in word, AND action. She doesn’t go because she wants to, she goes because she has to! This is worthy; this is what living in the Spirit looks like for her.
She will take a meal to an elderly couple of the church, and stay to linger a while. She will be patient with their slow speech, and even slower movements, because she knows that there is much to be gleaned in the presence of the slow and steady. She is living in the spirit, and this too, is most worthy!
These are just a few of the women I get to call “friend”.
My point is this: If we are living in the Spirit then we are going to bear the fruits of His Spirit, but that doesn’t mean it’s all going to be the same variety.
It’s going to look the same, but the situations will look different.
I want my story to be that of one who is living in the Spirit, and I know you all do too.
The things that seem so small and unimportant, are in fact, the game changers!
Do what YOU can, where You’re at!
Love the people that cross your path.
Don’t underestimate the difference your contribution can and does make!
Get in His Word!
Know Him so well that you just can’t stop trying to be more like Him AND don’t stop there!
Tell EVERYONE who will listen that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. This is worthy; this is living in the Spirit!!
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
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